Baltimore’s Port Covington Ramps Up After Financing Boost

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The $5.5 billion project is kicking off vertical construction on more than 1.1 million square feet of mixed-use space.

Commercial Property Executive | Real Estate News

Port Covington. Image courtesy of Weller Development Co.

With more than $650 million in financing in place, vertical construction in excess of 1.1 million square feet of mixed-use space at Port Covington in Baltimore is set to begin at the 235-acre redevelopment site along the city’s waterfront.

This $500 million development phase, known as Chapter 1B, includes 440,000 square feet of office, 586,000 square feet of residential with 537 units, 116,000 square feet of retail, more than 1,000 parking spaces and 10 acres of parks and public space.  

READ ALSO: Port Covington’s Impact on the Baltimore Office Market

The five buildings are scheduled to begin delivering in late 2022. The Port Covington Development Team consists of lead investors Sagamore Ventures, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and lead developer Weller Development Co.

Plans for the first phase call for:

  • Building E1 – 223,000 square feet consisting of 162 residential units and 40,000 square feet of retail
  • Building E5A – 221,500 square feet consisting of 212,000 square feet of office space and 9,500 square feet of retail
  • Building E5B – 133,000 square feet consisting of 40 residential units, 81 extended-stay units and 6,000 square feet of retail
  • Building E6 – 293,000 square feet consisting of 254 residential units and 16,000 square feet of retail
  • Building E7, Rye Street Market – 273,000 square feet consisting of 228,000 square feet of office space and a 45,000-square-foot market

Alexandria Real Estate Equities is also developing a six-story, 170,000-square-foot office and laboratory building that will be part of 1B. In total, Chapter 1 will include about 3.4 million square feet of development with 20 percent of the residences set aside for affordable apartments.

When fully built out, Port Covington is slated to include up to 18 million square feet of new, mixed-use development, with 2.5 miles of restored waterfront and more than 40 acres of parks and green space.

Financing outlined

The capitalization totals more than $650 million, including approximately $137 million in Tax Increment Financing bonds. The Baltimore City Council first approved the TIF financing for the $5.5 billion megaproject in September 2016.

It was the first in many government approvals that will be needed over the next few decades as the development team transforms an industrial peninsula of the Patapsco River. The TIF package allows bonds to be sold to investors to help pay for the massive project, which is one of the largest urban revitalization efforts in the U.S.

Kevin Plank, lead investor in Port Covington and Under Amour’s founder & former CEO, said the TIF bond sale was met with overwhelming demand. He mentioned in prepared remarks that the TIF bond sale, which closed last week, is proof that institutional investors believe in the future success of the project.

Businesses and organizations already located at Port Covington include Sagamore Spirit Distillery, the Rye Street tavern, Nick’s Fish House, Under Armour, City Garage, The Baltimore Sun, two marinas, Swann Park, West Covington Park and Impact Village.

Construction on infrastructure for the first phase began in late 2019 but was suspended in April to keep workers safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

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